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The Very Hungry Caterpillar

by Eric Carle


The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a children's book written by Eric Carle, first published by the World Publishing Company in 1969. The winner of many awards, it has sold 30 million copies It is highly popular and has been praised for its use of easy-to-read words which makes it good for teaching young children to read.

The book contains 225 words and large, colourful illustrations. It follows a caterpillar as it munches its way through a variety of edibles such as ice cream, salami, watermelon, one slice of Swiss cheese, and a lollipop before it finally pupates and emerges as a beautiful butterfly.

Eric Carle talks about The Very Hungry Caterpillar

>>>>> Video <<<<<

The story teaches counting to 5, the names of the days of the week, and about different types of food. The caterpillar's diet is a fictional fantasy but the story does introduce the magic of the metamorphosis from egg to caterpillar to butterfly. It is widely regarded as one of the best children's books ever written.

Synopsis

  • Day 1: The main character is established. The hungry caterpillar eats through a single red apple.
  • Day 2: The caterpillar eats through 2 green pears.
  • Day 3: The caterpillar eats through 3 purple plums.
  • Day 4: The caterpillar eats through 4 red strawberries.
  • Day 5: The caterpillar eats through 5 whole oranges.
  • Day 6: On this day, the caterpillar devours its way through many, many different foods including; chocolate cake, ice-cream, a pickle, swiss cheese, salami, a lollipop, a cherry pie, a single sausage, a cupcake and a whole watermelon.
  • Day 7: The caterpillar eats through a single leaf.
  • Final chapter: The caterpillar cocoons itself and comes out as a beautiful butterfly. The hungry caterpillar is hungry no more - neither is it a caterpillar.

Development

 

The original title of the book was to have been A Week with Willi Worm, featuring a bookworm named Willi. However, Carle's editor advised that a green worm would not make a very likable protagonist.

The book was inspired by a hole puncher:

"One day I was punching holes with a hole puncher into a stack of paper, and I thought of a bookworm and so I created a story called 'A Week with Willi the Worm'. Then my editor suggested a caterpillar instead and I said 'Butterfly!' That's how it began," said Eric Carle, the author.

Accolades and awards

The book has won numerous awards from a variety of publications, libraries and parenting groups including a citation from The New York Times as one of the Ten Best Picture Books of the Year in 1969; an American Institute of Graphics Arts Award in 1970; the Selection du Grand Prix des Treize in France in 1972 and a Nakamori Reader's Prize in Japan in 1975.

It was a favourite of George W. Bush who preferred it when reading to children on campaign.

The book placed at number 199 in the Big Read, a 2003 poll conducted by the BBC to determine the United Kingdom's best loved books. It was one of the very few picture books to place.

In 2009, Google celebrated the book's 40th anniversary by changing the logo on its main search page to the style used in the book.

Adaptations

The story has been translated into over 50 languages and it was featured on Sesame Street in the early 1990s.

It was adapted for television in 1993 by the Illuminated Film Company in an anthology called The World of Eric Carle that included four other Carle stories: The Very Quiet Cricket, The Mixed Up Chameleon, Papa, Please Get The Moon For Me and I See A Song. Narration on the DVD of the programmes entitled The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other stories is performed by Roger McGough and Juliet Stevenson whilst in the Walt Disney distributed version the voices used are those of Brian Cummings and Linda Gary.

Although a theatrical film has not yet been produced, the film and TV rights were sold for 1 million in 2005.

Wiki Source

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